Equality Budget Advisory Group minutes: August 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 25 August 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Professor Angela O'Hagan (Chair)
  • Rob Priestley, Mainstreaming and Strategy Unit, SG
  • Naomi Clark, Mainstreaming and Strategy Unit, SG
  • Joe Chalmers, Mainstreaming and Strategy Unit, SG (Secretariat, Minutes)
  • Dr Alison Hosie, Scottish Human Rights Commission
  • Ben Walsh, Budget, Pay and Pensions Division, SG
  • Jamie MacDougall, Deputy Director, Scottish Budget, SG
  • Simon Wakefield, Public Spending Analysis
  • Tom Lamplugh, Office of the Chief Social Policy Adviser, SG
  • Richard Robinson, Audit Scotland
  • Joanna Anderson, Audit Scotland


  • Joanna Anderson, Policy Manager, COSLA
  • Elisabeth Campbell, Deputy Director for Performance and Outcomes, SG
  • Dr Emma Congreve, Fraser of Allander Institute
  • Mirren Kelly, Local Government Finance, COSLA
  • Dougie McLaren, Public Spending, SG
  • Chris Birt, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Kenny Stewart, EHRC
  • Sara Cowan, Scottish Women’s Budget Group

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions 

Angela introduced the meeting and outlined the Agenda. She also thanks Richard Robinson for his service to EBAG, welcoming Jillian Matthews, also from Audit Scotland, as his replacement.

Review of workplan for end year 2022

Rob presented a slide outlining the workplan for the rest of 2022. The meeting in September would focus on a review of the PFG and give members an opportunity to choose which policy areas they would like to invite for a ‘Deep-Dive’ in 2023. October’s meeting would be developmental session on international comparators. November would see a further review of the National Care Service (NCS) as well as a first review of the actions and responses to EBAG Recommendations. Decembers meeting would be the rearranged ‘Deep-Dive’ on Drug Deaths.

There was further discussion on October’s session on international comparators, with the group agreeing that it would be a very useful session. Discussion was had on what countries would be invited to this session with mutual agreement that Wales had a useful comparator due to their budget repercussions in relation to the United Kingdom. Canada and Australia were also brought up in relation to their successful models in gender budgeting. It was understood that whilst Scotland features in discussions for good practise in budgeting, we should look elsewhere for examples also.


The Mainstreaming Strategy Unit will create a proposal for circulation to EBAG Members to comment

Discussion on initial thinking on this year’s EFSBS

Simon provided some insight into last years process for the Equality Fairer Scotland Budget Statement, and the plans for this years process.

EBAG Members reflected on last years process stating that the both Impact Statement Progress Report and the Annex were very useful tools.

It was the general consensus that the cost of living crisis would drive the thinking process for the next statement with concerns that prioritising the budget to would not be beneficial to progressing equalities and human rights across other policy areas within government. Whilst there is an understanding that current priorities will be bypassed due to the cost of living crisis, it will be essential to ensure these priorities will be visible in the key risks section of the statement

Rob provided some insight into the new process with a link to the PFG and how it will inform the EFSBS to save time/effort by using data from PFG to inform the budget.


Simon would send a paper for EBAG members to comment on

Scottish Government equality and mainstreaming strategy presentation and discussion

Rob presented the slides for the Mainstreaming Strategy asking for feedback on what was missing as well as the key focusses.

The group provided feedback on the following:

  • how there was nothing, currently about the evaluation process
  • the need for the strategy to be practical and neither technical nor abstract
  • the use of the PANEL principles in the Human Rights Based Approach
  • understanding that training on diversity/inclusion is not training on equality and human rights
  • that this should not be a rushed process if we are to see any substantial change
  • what will happen once the analysis is complete
  • the need to mention EBAG’s report/recommendations to show thinking in and to raise the awareness of EBAG
  • the need to understand how long it takes to embed a cultural change within government and the public sector
  • whilst the evaluation strategic outcomes is useful, how will they be measured?


Rob to have further discussion with Ali and Angela about the NPF in relation to the Mainstreaming Strategy.

Any other business

Rob stated that ongoing work in relation to the National Advisory Council for Woman and Girls is ongoing and an update would be provided at the next meeting.



Telephone: 0300 244 4000

Equality and Budget Advisory Group
Scottish Government
Mainstreaming and Strategy Unit
Area 3H North
Victoria Quay

Equality and Human Rights Budget Advisory Group

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